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Journal entry of Meriwether Lewis, August 18, 1805

DKH_04This day I completed my thirty first year, and conceived that I had in all human probability now existed about half the period which I am to remain in the Sublunary world.  

 I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little, indeed, to further the happiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation.  

 I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and sorely feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been  judiciously expended. But since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought, and resolve in future, to redouble my exertions and at least endeavor to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestowed on me; or in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.

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